Ethiopia to Use Dexamethasone for Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients

By Staff Reporter

Covid-19-rule-relaxed-EthiopiaJune 19, 2020 ( -- Ethiopian Ministry of Health has recommended the use of dexamethasone for the treatment of coronavirus patients who are critically ill.

Health Minister, Dr. Lia Tadesse said her ministry recommends the emergency use of low dose Dexamethasone for COVID-19 patients who require oxygen and/or mechanical ventilation for treatment.

The recommendation followed an extensive study conducted by the Ethiopian Health Professionals and National Advisory Council over the impact of the drug on the treatment of the pandemic.

According to the Minster, the details of this treatment protocol will be made available shortly.

Dexamethasone is widely used in other diseases to reduce inflammation. WHO recently said the drug should be used for serious coronavirus cases only.

Dexamethasone helps prevent some of the damage that can occur when the body's immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight off coronavirus.

The drug was proved to have reduced the risk of deaths of Covid-19 patients, who are on ventilators in intensive care units, by 35 percent. It also slashed the death rates of patients who use oxygen but are not on ventilators by 20 percent.

Meanwhile, the government of Ethiopia has eased some of the restrictions with regard to handling COVID-19 patients and fatalities caused by the pandemic.

Unlike in the past, families can conduct funeral ceremonies of their kins who died of COVID-19 while applying all the necessary precautions measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Families of the victims also can arrange funerals before post mortem results are issued from clinical laboratories but the number of people who will be attending the funerals remains fifteen, Dr. Liya said in a briefing.

According to the relaxed regulation, people who test positive for the virus can stay home in a separate room if the situation allows or and stay in treatment centers based on their preferences.

Passengers from abroad who hold COVID-19 clearance certificates are mandated to isolate themselves only for three days after they give samples before joining the community.

Those passengers who do not have COVID-19 clearance certificates will be quarantined for seven days before joining the community.

The mandatory quarantine days upon arrival from abroad are reduced from 14 days to 7 days, according to relaxed regulations.

Currently, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Ethiopia has reached 4,070, and the death toll has climbed 72 after an additional 116 new cases and seven deaths reported on Friday.

The new confirmed cases have been identified from 4,809 samples tested over the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health.

Out of the new confirmed cases, 101 are from Addis Ababa, 6 from Oromia, 4 from SNNP, and the other 4 from Amhara, Tigray, Gambella, Afar Regional States, and the remaining 1 from Dire Dawa City Administration.

93 patients have also recovered from the virus, taking the total number of recoveries in the country to 1027.

There are now a total of 2,969 active cases in the country, with 32 of them in a severe condition. The total number of tests conducted so far has reached 207,023, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

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